Having looked at how God is described in the Bible we now focus on His attributes. Starting with His incommunicable attributes to get a grasp on how big God is.
What does God having incommunicable attributes mean?
They are aspects of His character that are easily misunderstood because we’re not familiar with them. That’s why Grudem’s definitions (as you’ll see) come in two parts. The first part defines the attribute, the second to guard against misunderstanding by stating a balance or opposite aspect that relates.
Is God independent or does he depend on something?
God’s independence is defined as follows: God does not need us, or the rest of creation for anything, yet we and the rest of creation can glorify Him and bring Him joy. This is also called God’s self-existence or aseity.
Where in the Bible does it say God doesn’t need any part of creation in order to exist?
In Acts 17:24-25 Luke records Paul saying that God isn’t served by human hands as though he needed anything. God asks Job (Job 41:11), “Who has given to me, that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole Heaven is mine.” No one can give God anything that doesn’t come from Him first.
C.S Lewis used the analogy of a boy asking his dad for money in order to buy his dad a gift. A pretty good analogy I think.
Did God create us because He was lonely?
No. The Trinity exists in the perfect relationship. In John 17:15 Jesus says the God the Father, “glorify me in your own presence with the glory which I had with you before the world was made.” John 17:24, Jesus speaks to God the Father about, “my glory which you’ve given me in your love before the foundation of the world.”
There was love and communication between the Father and Son before creation. The fact God is a Trinity, three in one, means they had no need for a relationship with us. We weren’t created out of necessity.
How can God exist at all?
He exists by the virtue of His own nature, what philosophy calls a necessary being. A necessary being is pure actuality, it cannot not exist. Think of Thomas Aquinas’s unmoved mover.
The Bible says in Revelation 4:11, “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” John 1:3 says, “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” Moses wrote in Psalm 90:2, “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”
When Moses asked God who should he say sent him, God answered, ““I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
It’s constant present tense rather than past or future. God exists in a fundamentally different order of being. He’s qualitatively different, everything could go away and He would still exist.
So what can we do for God?
We can honor and bring Him joy. We aren’t meaningless. You see, the fact He chose to create us in His image determined that we have value. Enough so that God the Son died for us, for you, shows how significant we are. (Ephesians 1:11-12; John 3:16). In fact, He delights in us (Zephaniah 3:17-18).
Doctrine of God Posts
Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine by Wayne Grudem
Chapter 11: Incommunicable Attributes of God